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  • Brandon Elsasser

Always Fall

“The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest. Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays” EB White


I started my day, as I do most, with a run. It centers me, offers me meditative moments which bring clarity to my consciousness. Some runners zone out, losing themselves in the midst of the motion. Not me, my senses are heightened, I find peace in the process.


Many mornings the motivation comes easily, and others every step is a struggle. But, regardless, the routine borders on ritual, I am not myself in its absence.


This morning, as I rounded the familiar corner marking the end of my run my strides slowed and my senses sharpened. The air was crisp and cool, it never warmed my lungs as it had for the last few months. Beneath my feet, the pavement I pounded had a different feel, a faintly familiar yet long absent crunch. Subtleties, which may have alluded my realization, had it not been for the vibrant colors of the leaves staring at me from the tree at the end of the trail.


My mind connected with my body, the cold air filling my lungs, the crunch under my feet, the unmistakable colors, this morning was the first morning where it finally felt like summer would cede its wary way to fall.


Collectively, we make a big deal of the seasons, in particular in their changing. We search for symbolism as they swing. Many among us, particularly people feeling unfulfilled by the passing season, impose the change within, making the mistake of labeling the season to come as a new beginning.


Our stories, these stories, don’t end with the season. Your decisions and actions made in the summer and their effects on your relationships don’t simply vanish because the leaves now crunch under your feet as you run.


Seasons aren’t fresh starts, instead they are concurrent chapters, a chance for us to add to the story we are writing, but never to start it over.


Plot lines continue, characters evolve, and new ones are introduced, but without learning from the missteps made in the summer we can’t truly expect a different outcome in the fall.


Make the most of the fresh pages of the new chapter offered to you by autumn. Yet, remember it isn’t a fresh start. As with the falling leaves, your past isn’t going away. The succession of seasons is cyclical, the leaves you now step on, will grow back in the spring.


Add to your story, but do so meaningfully, and in the process realize your past has brought you here. Just because your past is a part of you that doesn’t this chapter must be defined by it.


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